How to Get Trademarked
Your product name is your idea – your business. A trademark registration of your product name is an ideal way to protect your rights and grow your product brand. It does not only protect your idea, but it is and inexpensive and simple way to build an intellectual property that you can sell to the public. A good trademark is an invaluable asset for your product brand. However, it is important to understand what a trademark is, how to get trademarked and what it involves before you get one for your game.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a symbol, title, phrase, or a combination that distinguishes the origin of products or services of a particular brand from those of others. It provides protection for the distinct title or symbol.
The Trademark Process
Trademark registration and the overall processes involved are pretty simple. It involves two major steps – trademark search and trademark application.
After you have come up with a great product name, it is important to be sure no one else uses it. A trademark search helps you achieve this. It involves searching through the online trademark database at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to look out for a title or phrase that closely matches your preferred title or phrase – whether it is in has been applied for or registered.
You can also contract a professional trademark search company or contact a trademark attorney to conduct a special search. If the title is already in use, it would be ideal to contact the attorney to determine whether or not your preferred name is different enough.
Even if you do not find a closely related name in the database, you may not be free just yet. If your chosen mark is descriptive product name, it might be just fine for a consumer, but the USPTO may not accept the mark. A generic or common product name also falls under the category of product names that would hardly pass the USPTO test, and will not be accepted as a trademark.
Once the trademark search is complete, a trademark application will be prepared by your attorney, and following your approval, the request will be sent to the USPTO. While the request is pending, you can make use of the small capital “TM” mark next to your product name. Following the success of your trademark application, you can now use the enclosed “R” as in ® next to your product name.
Why a National Trademark Registration is better than a Common Law Trademark or State Registration
A state trademark registration only limits the trademark database search to a specific territory. A common law trademark refers to a symbol, logo, word, phrase, or a tagline that you regularly use to describe your product. However, a national trademark registration makes business a lot easier for you. There is no limit to the territory when the title is accepted, protecting you from anyone that makes use of your product name on a similar product.